Isozyme-specific ligands for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase, a novel antibiotic target.
ABSTRACT: The last step of cysteine biosynthesis in bacteria and plants is catalyzed by O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase. In bacteria, two isozymes, O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B, have been identified that share similar binding sites, although the respective specific functions are still debated. O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase plays a key role in the adaptation of bacteria to the host environment, in the defense mechanisms to oxidative stress and in antibiotic resistance. Because mammals synthesize cysteine from methionine and lack O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase, the enzyme is a potential target for antimicrobials. With this aim, we first identified potential inhibitors of the two isozymes via a ligand- and structure-based in silico screening of a subset of the ZINC library using FLAP. The binding affinities of the most promising candidates were measured in vitro on purified O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B from Salmonella typhimurium by a direct method that exploits the change in the cofactor fluorescence. Two molecules were identified with dissociation constants of 3.7 and 33 µM for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B, respectively. Because GRID analysis of the two isoenzymes indicates the presence of a few common pharmacophoric features, cross binding titrations were carried out. It was found that the best binder for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B exhibits a dissociation constant of 29 µM for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A, thus displaying a limited selectivity, whereas the best binder for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A exhibits a dissociation constant of 50 µM for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B and is thus 8-fold selective towards the former isozyme. Therefore, isoform-specific and isoform-independent ligands allow to either selectively target the isozyme that predominantly supports bacteria during infection and long-term survival or to completely block bacterial cysteine biosynthesis.
Project description:The biosynthesis of cysteine in bacteria and plants is carried out by a two-step pathway, catalyzed by serine acetyltransferase (SAT) and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase (OASS; O-acetylserine [thiol] lyase). The aerobic form of OASS forms a tight bienzyme complex with SAT in vivo, termed cysteine synthase. We have determined the crystal structure of OASS in complex with a C-terminal peptide of SAT required for bienzyme complex formation. The binding site of the peptide is at the active site of OASS, and its C-terminal carboxyl group occupies the same anion binding pocket as the alpha-carboxylate of the O-acetylserine substrate of OASS. These results explain the partial inhibition of OASS by SAT on complex formation as well as the competitive dissociation of the complex by O-acetylserine.
Project description:O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase (OASS) is the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate dependent enzyme that catalyses the formation of L-cysteine in bacteria and plants. Its inactivation is pursued as a strategy for the identification of novel antibiotics that, targeting dispensable proteins, holds a great promise for circumventing resistance development. In the present study, we have investigated the reactivity of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium OASS-A and OASS-B isozymes with fluoroalanine derivatives. Monofluoroalanine reacts with OASS-A and OASS-B forming either a stable or a metastable ?-aminoacrylate Schiff's base, respectively, as proved by spectral changes. This finding indicates that monofluoroalanine is a substrate analogue, as previously found for other beta-halogenalanine derivatives. Trifluoroalanine caused different and time-dependent absorbance and fluorescence spectral changes for the two isozymes and is associated with irreversible inhibition. The time course of enzyme inactivation was found to be characterised by a biphasic behaviour. Partially distinct inactivation mechanisms for OASS-A and OASS-B are proposed.
Project description:The inhibition of cysteine biosynthesis in prokaryotes and protozoa has been proposed to be relevant for the development of antibiotics. Haemophilus influenzae O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase (OASS), catalyzing l-cysteine formation, is inhibited by the insertion of the C-terminal pentapeptide (MNLNI) of serine acetyltransferase into the active site. Four-hundred MNXXI pentapeptides were generated in silico, docked into OASS active site using GOLD, and scored with HINT. The terminal P5 Ile accounts for about 50% of the binding energy. Glu or Asp at position P4 and, to a lesser extent, at position P3 also significantly contribute to the binding interaction. The predicted affinity of 14 selected pentapeptides correlated well with the experimentally determined dissociation constants. The X-ray structure of three high affinity pentapeptide-OASS complexes were compared with the docked poses. These results, combined with a GRID analysis of the active site, allowed us to define a pharmacophoric scaffold for the design of peptidomimetic inhibitors.
Project description:O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase A (CysK) is the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the final reaction of cysteine biosynthesis in bacteria. CysK was initially identified in a complex with serine acetyltransferase (CysE), which catalyzes the penultimate reaction in the synthetic pathway. This "cysteine synthase" complex is stabilized by insertion of the CysE C-terminus into the active-site of CysK. Remarkably, the CysK/CysE binding interaction is conserved in most bacterial and plant systems. For the past 40years, CysK was thought to function exclusively in cysteine biosynthesis, but recent studies have revealed a repertoire of additional "moonlighting" activities for this enzyme. CysK and its paralogs influence transcription in both Gram-positive bacteria and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. CysK also activates an antibacterial nuclease toxin produced by uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Intriguingly, each moonlighting activity requires a binding partner that invariably mimics the C-terminus of CysE to interact with the CysK active site. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cofactor-dependent proteins: evolution, chemical diversity and bio-applications.
Project description:The importance of understanding the detailed mechanism of cysteine biosynthesis in bacteria is underscored by the fact that cysteine is the only sulfur donor for all cellular components containing reduced sulfur. O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase (OASS) catalyzes this crucial last step in the cysteine biosynthesis and has been recognized as an important gene for the survival and virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Structural and kinetic studies have contributed to the understanding of mechanistic aspects of OASS, but details of ligand recognition features of OASS are not available. In the absence of any detailed study on the energetics of ligand binding, we have studied the thermodynamics of OASS from Salmonella typhimurium (StOASS), Haemophilus influenzae (HiOASS), and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtOASS) binding to their substrate O-acetylserine (OAS), substrate analogue (methionine), and product (cysteine).Ligand binding properties of three OASS enzymes are studied under defined solution conditions. Both substrate and product binding is an exothermic reaction, but their thermodynamic signatures are very different. Cysteine binding to OASS shows that both enthalpy and entropy contribute significantly to the binding free energy at all temperatures (10-30°C) examined. The analyses of interaction between OASS with OAS (substrate) or methionine (substrate analogue) revealed a completely different mode of binding. Binding of both OAS and methionine to OASS is dominated by a favorable entropy change, with minor contribution from enthalpy change (?H(St-Met) = -1.5 ± 0.1 kJ/mol; T?S(St-Met) = 8.2 kJ/mol) at 20°C. Our salt dependent ligand binding studies indicate that methionine binding affinity is more sensitive to [NaCl] as compared to cysteine affinity.We show that OASS from three different pathogenic bacteria bind substrate and product through two different mechanisms. Results indicate that predominantly entropy driven methionine binding is not mediated through classical hydrophobic binding, instead, may involve desolvation of the polar active site. We speculate that OASS in general, may exhibit two different binding mechanisms for recognizing substrates and products.
Project description:An O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase (OASS) from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Aeropyrum pernix K1, which shares the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate binding motif with both OASS and cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS), was cloned and expressed by using Escherichia coli Rosetta(DE3). The purified protein was a dimer and contained pyridoxal 5'-phosphate. It was shown to be an enzyme with CBS activity as well as OASS activity in vitro. The enzyme retained 90% of its activity after a 6-h incubation at 100 degrees C. In the O-acetyl-L-serine sulfhydrylation reaction, it had a pH optimum of 6.7, apparent K(m) values for O-acetyl-L-serine and sulfide of 28 and below 0.2 mM, respectively, and a rate constant of 202 s(-1). In the L-cystathionine synthetic reaction, it showed a broad pH optimum in the range of 8.1 to 8.8, apparent K(m) values for L-serine and L-homocysteine of 8 and 0.51 mM, respectively, and a rate constant of 0.7 s(-1). A. pernix OASS has a high activity in the L-cysteine desulfurization reaction, which produces sulfide and S-(2,3-hydroxy-4-thiobutyl)-L-cysteine from L-cysteine and dithiothreitol.
Project description:The formation of multienzymatic complexes allows for the fine tuning of many aspects of enzymatic functions, such as efficiency, localization, stability, and moonlighting. Here, we investigated, in solution, the structure of bacterial cysteine synthase (CS) complex. CS is formed by serine acetyltransferase (CysE) and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase isozyme A (CysK), the enzymes that catalyze the last two steps of cysteine biosynthesis in bacteria. CysK and CysE have been proposed as potential targets for antibiotics, since cysteine and related metabolites are intimately linked to protection of bacterial cells against redox damage and to antibiotic resistance. We applied a combined approach of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) spectroscopy and protein painting to obtain a model for the solution structure of CS. Protein painting allowed the identification of protein-protein interaction hotspots that were then used as constrains to model the CS quaternary assembly inside the SAXS envelope. We demonstrate that the active site entrance of CysK is involved in complex formation, as suggested by site-directed mutagenesis and functional studies. Furthermore, complex formation involves a conformational change in one CysK subunit that is likely transmitted through the dimer interface to the other subunit, with a regulatory effect. Finally, SAXS data indicate that only one active site of CysK is involved in direct interaction with CysE and unambiguously unveil the quaternary arrangement of CS.
Project description:In bacteria and plants, serine acetyltransferase (CysE) and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A sulfhydrylase (CysK) collaborate to synthesize l-Cys from l-Ser. CysE and CysK bind one another with high affinity to form the cysteine synthase complex (CSC). We demonstrate that bacterial CysE is activated when bound to CysK. CysE activation results from the release of substrate inhibition, with the Ki for l-Ser increasing from 4 mm for free CysE to 16 mm for the CSC. Feedback inhibition of CysE by l-Cys is also relieved in the bacterial CSC. These findings suggest that the CysE active site is allosterically altered by CysK to alleviate substrate and feedback inhibition in the context of the CSC.
Project description:The cysteine biosynthetic pathway is essential for survival of the protist pathogen Entamoeba histolytica, and functions by producing cysteine for countering oxidative attack during infection in human hosts. Serine acetyltransferase (SAT) and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase (OASS) are involved in cysteine biosynthesis and are present in three isoforms each. While EhSAT1 and EhSAT2 are feedback inhibited by end product cysteine, EhSAT3 is nearly insensitive to such inhibition. The active site residues of EhSAT1 and of EhSAT3 are identical except for position 208, which is a histidine residue in EhSAT1 and a serine residue in EhSAT3. A combination of comparative modeling, multiple molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculation studies showed a difference in binding energies of native EhSAT3 and of a S208H-EhSAT3 mutant for cysteine. Mutants have also been generated in vitro, replacing serine with histidine at position 208 in EhSAT3 and replacing histidine 208 with serine in EhSAT1. These mutants showed decreased affinity for substrate serine, as indicated by K(m), compared to the native enzymes. Inhibition kinetics in the presence of physiological concentrations of serine show that IC50 of EhSAT1 increases by about 18 folds from 9.59 µM for native to 169.88 µM for H208S-EhSAT1 mutant. Similar measurements with EhSAT3 confirm it to be insensitive to cysteine inhibition while its mutant (S208H-EhSAT3) shows a gain of cysteine inhibition by 36% and the IC50 of 3.5 mM. Histidine 208 appears to be one of the important residues that distinguish the serine substrate from the cysteine inhibitor.
Project description:Entamoeba histolytica, the causative agent of human amoebiasis, is essentially anaerobic, requiring a small amount of oxygen for growth. It cannot tolerate the higher concentration of oxygen present in human tissues or blood. However, during tissue invasion it is exposed to a higher level of oxygen, leading to oxygen stress. Cysteine, which is a vital thiol in E. histolytica, plays an essential role in its oxygen-defence mechanisms. The major route of cysteine biosynthesis in this parasite is the condensation of O-acetylserine with sulfide by the de novo cysteine-biosynthetic pathway, which involves cysteine synthase (EhCS) as a key enzyme. In this study, EhCS was cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli and purified by affinity and size-exclusion chromatography. The purified protein was crystallized in space group P4(1) with two molecules per asymmetric unit and a complete data set was collected to a resolution of 1.86 A. A molecular-replacement solution was obtained using the Salmonella typhimurium O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase structure as a probe and had a correlation coefficient of 37.7% and an R factor of 48.8%.